Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Love Seat Reupholstery

So I moved into this new house and it has a bonus room upstairs and room for a sitting area off the kitchen.  I only have one set of couches though so I thought I'd do a quick search on Kijiji and see if I came up with any little love seat's for a good price.  This beauty was waiting for me, two of them in fact, and even more amazing, they were free. I had only planned on taking one but Mom convinced me to get both, one for her, one for me and we'd re-cover them together. I've never re-covered a couch but I've felt like all my projects have been leading me in this direction and it was inevitable. It killed me to have it sit in the garage for a month until I had fabric/time/moved into the house.

I called a friend and she so willingly offered her husband and his truck to go pick it up with Brad and I was set.  It was only used in an office, meaning it was in great condition though the padding on the arms was pretty weak but I loved the shape of it, now to decide on fabric.  I knew I wanted to go with something dramatic, I wanted a statement piece, something showy and not even a little bit safe and I'm also in love with emerald green right now.  With that in mind I searched and came up with Bankura Emerald, it was love at first sight :)

I suppose I should prepare you now for a ton of photos that are to follow and probably more detail than you wanted.

First lets see how the couch fit in the space.

Despite being super ugly it really is the perfect size and if you have a little vision you can see how that mess above will turn into something awesome.  So notice those couch legs?  (the crooked one is only crooked because it had to be removed in order to fit in the house) Apparently it wasn't tall enough so they added some painted 4x4's as legs, awful and they were first to go.  I found some curvy legs to replace them and then the staple removing started.  Two days of it to be exact, that is a serious job that I don't wish on anyone.  My hands were sore by the time we were done and I think there were about 1000 of them, but we finally got it to look like this.

The foam on the arms was disgusting though and disintegrated if you looked at it leaving an orange, crumbly mess everywhere so we bought a eggshell mattress pad and used that to cover up that ugly grossness. Eden's favourite activity was to hit the arm and watch the foam fall. The back wasn't too bad so we left it as is though we did cover it with a layer of batting later. The seat got some new batting too so it looked like this. Better already.

From there the real fun started though.  The seat was first and then the arms and they were super satisfying. The green piping really makes them pop.

It's coming together.

And here's my Mom, she was the main stapler while I was the sewer and cutter and everything else-er. So Mom keeps getting mad at me because I only ever post pictures of her in her work clothes, I promise she owns other clothes :)

The back was the most satisfying though, it starts out looking like this, a hot mess hey?

Then you add some burlap

Some batting and fabric until you get this really professional looking finished piece, though I didn't have quite enough fabric and if you look close my back is in multiple pieces. Not as noticeable as you would think though.

And here it is, all finished with the new legs.

My favourite part is how the pattern on the back looks like one piece and it continues up from the seat, that was definitely not an accident.

 I love the puffy back.

And how about a side by side comparison.

It looks so much better in the space but you'll have to wait to see that until tomorrow, I have a couple accessories to show you first.

Moral of this story, if you think you can re-cover a couch you are right. Now my couch was easier than some because it doesn't have removable cushions but that still would have been very doable.

Here are my inexperienced tips if you decide you want to try this.

  1. Use the right tools.  Mom has one of these staple remover that was worth it's weight in gold, I was wishing I had one too, her hand was far less sore than mine, I just used a screwdriver and pliers.
  2. Don't even attempt this without a pneumatic stapler (one that hooks up to a compressor). You'll hate the process if you have to pound in every one with a hammer after.  Ours worked like a dream.  
  3. Give yourself lots of time, this took almost 4 complete days.
  4. Don't take shortcuts.  You'll spend a lot of money on fabric and probably some on a couch too, it's not worth a shortcut if the end result is compromised. Working with someone else really helped with that, we kept each other from doing things improperly and we would also remember steps that the other person forgot.
One last point, I mentioned above that we re-covered a couch for my Mom too but we didn't have enough time to finish hers before she had to go home so you'll have to wait a bit to see hers, it's awesome too though in a completely different fabric.
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